Friday, September 21, 2012
An Excommunication this weekend
Gosh! A friend of mine from distant parts has to read a decree of Excommunication in his church this Sunday. It is terrible affair, all to do with blood feuds and murder, so pray for the conversion of the subjects of the decree.
In fact it is really a short pastoral letter but I couldn't help thinking of liturgical theatre that could possibly accompany it, even the most liberal I think should wear a birretta, what else?
singing it in the Lamentation tone
the use of a clapper
riders on black horses reading copies of it in all public places and cross roads
public scratching of names from the readers list
ending with Dies Irae
sulphur burnt in the thurible
The Penitential Psalms
It begins, "We, the three Bishops of the North, do declare and decree that ...". I suppose there must guidelines from the Diocesan Liturgy Office, I couldn't find an Inwood "ungathering" song for such an occasion, no "Excommunicamus, che, che".
I heard of an old parish priest who died years ago, would read parts of the funeral rite in people's front gardens if they refused his successive invitations to return to practice, but that was in the 1950s, and I suspect he was just a little mad.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake